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The humor in this Regency romance is as broad as the sentiment, but it's springy and energetic and festooned with those Regency curlicues of plot which always knit together so nicely at the close. Lord Christopher Aynesworth has come into his title upon the death of his beloved twin brother. Both brothers fought the Jacobites at Culloden, and Kit is still harboring a musket ball subcutaneously. Also burning under his skin: the humiliation he suffers when the fiancÉe he'd left six years before, the lovely Leonie Haliwell, appears with a five-year-old son, Alex. In a fury, grim Kit decides to rekindle the engagement, even though miserable Leonie will not name Alex's sire. They marry and settle in the handsome family mansion, Willovale, and though the marriage is Chilly, Kit discovers he adores Alex. (Readers may not share this fondness for a child who chirps: ""I is going to be your boy."") Also hovering around: new friend Zachary Troy, a cut-up; itinerant painter Mr. Muffin, who seems to know a lot about Willovale; Kit's rattly mother Octavia; and assorted fops and rotters. Kit and Leonie are still hissing and spitting when Leonie's brother Gregory shows up--a fleeing Jacobite--and there's a brawl, an escape, a death sentence for Kit, the arrival of the King's messenger on time, three pairs of lovers. The musket ball? Like everything else, it comes out. Of course. And jolly neat.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1980
Publisher: Walker